There are three main types of editing:
Proofreading. If your book is written and you are confident about the structure of the book as well as the general writing, a proofreader will go over your manuscript for spelling and syntax errors. Proofreading is usually the least expensive form of editing because it takes the least amount of time. I generally don’t do proofreading, but I can refer you to editors who specialize in that area.
Copyediting or Line Editing. This type of editing can improve a book’s structure so either your fiction or nonfiction manuscript is properly organized with syntax that matches your writing style. If your manuscript is a novel, line editing can fix errors or holes in the storyline or plot, expand characterization, and eliminate redundancies.
Substantive Editing. This type of editing is necessary for manuscripts that need changes than line editing entails, and can include major rearranging of content, moving chapters, general rewriting, and overall cohesion of the fiction or nonfiction work.
Alternatives for editing your book:
In addition to the above types of editing, if your manuscript is accepted for publication by a publishing house, you may deal with an acquisitions editor, a project editor, a developmental editor, a copyeditor, and a production editor.
What I do for editing your book:
Although I have done many different kinds of editing, most of the projects I work on are 1) partially written manuscripts that need to be completed; 2) book ideas that need to be entirely or mostly ghostwritten; 3) completed manuscripts that need improved overall cohesion, content reorganization, or improved prose style that matches the author’s style; 4) nonfiction book projects that need to have the content organized, focused in a way that meets certain criteria for publication; and 5) being a book coach or consultant to assist authors in doing what they need to do to finish their project.
I am very good at seeing the “big picture,” such as looking at an entire manuscript or book idea in terms of overall flow of information, storyline, and how the author’s information can most effectively be communicated to the reader.